Dance teachers are quick to point out the many positive aspects of being a dance student and how it enhances lifetime skills. It is widely recognized that students who participate in dance tend to be more focused and disciplined in school and other areas of their lives. But let’s not forget that we are also in the music education business as well and there are many papers written on the importance of MUSIC for children. Dance teachers may not realize that they are also music teachers.
We, as dance teachers, are choosing music that helps to develop children’s language skills by singing songs and reciting poems and rhymes with our students. This helps to develop their literacy skills as their brains are building connections to the sounds they are hearing and the words they are singing.
We, as dance teachers, develop our student’s listening skills and teach them how to concentrate. The tempo of the music dictates the movement we teach along with it as well as dynamics and melodies. Movement skills that match opposite sounds like fast and slow, loud and soft, up and down develop not only motor coordination but auditory development.
We, as dance teachers, help children learn about the different parts of their body by doing dances like the Hokey Pokey. In dance class, we are teaching them a sense of direction (front, back, moving in a circle, turning around, left and right) and rhythm patterns with clapping songs.
The Magical Kingdom of Dance touches on all of these components and make it easy to touch on each of these subjects. The poems in the encyclopedia are perfect for creativity and imagination. The characters create interest and teach French vocabulary, the dance mat makes teaching the directional cues such as right and left very easy to grasp and Twinkle Toes appeals to life lessons through her favorite sayings.
So congratulations to all of you as Dance and Music Educators. Music and Dance are for LIFE.